24 Commonly Mispronounced English Words in India

One of the biggest challenges that English language learners in India face is pronunciation. This is not surprising if we consider the elements of pronunciation – word and sentence stress, vowel and consonant sounds, intonation, silent letters, and the influence your native language has on the way you speak English. No wonder it takes time and patience to get it just right.

To get a head start on your plan to improve your pronunciation, here’s a list of 24 commonly mispronounced English words in India.

Take Control!

1. Wednesday: There’s a D in the spelling, but the D is not pronounced.

Correct pronunciation: WENZ-day (not Wed-nes-day)

2. Determine: It’s all about the stressing the right syllable here. Correct pronunciation: duh-TER-mun (not duh-TER-mine)

3. Technology: A common word we use almost daily that is often pronounced incorrectly. Correct pronunciation: tek-NO-luh-jee ( not tek-no-LAW-jee)

4. Cough: English is a funny language. We pronounce tough like tuff, rough like ruff, enough like enuff, but is cough pronounced cuff? No, it isn’t. Correct pronunciation: KOFF

5. Pizza: As long as it’s delicious, does the pronunciation really matter? That’s a valid question but let’s learn the right way to say it anyway! Correct pronunciation: PEET-suh (Not PEE-za, not PIZZ-a, and not PEE-zha)

6. Espresso: Espresso is derived from the Italian “caffe espresso’’ which literally means pressed-out coffee. Although you sometimes see it wrongly spelled (expresso), don’t let that confuse you. It’s espresso with an S! Correct pronunciation: es-PRESS-o (not ex-PRESS-o)

7. Video: An easy one to correct before you start your YouTube channel. Correct pronunciation: VID-ee-yo (not WID-ee-yo)

8. Data: You may hear people argue that Americans say it one way and British people say it another way. This may be the case, but there’s only one correct way to say it. Correct pronunciation: DAY-tuh (not DAA-tuh)

9. Women: This is often mispronounced to sound similar to the singular form of the word. That’s understandable, but not quite right.Correct pronunciation: WI-min (not WU-min)

10. Breakfast: The tendency is to split the word into two and pronounce it as you would two words, but that isn’t correct. Correct pronunciation: BREK-fust (not BRAIK-fast)

11. Tomb: This one seems more difficult than it is. You simply have to remember that the o produces a long oo sound and the b is silent. Correct pronunciation: TOOM (not tom-buh or toom-buh)

12. Bowl: This is often mispronounced in India, but it’s easy to correct! Correct pronunciation: BOHL (not baa-owl)

13. Cache: Another example of pronunciation that’s not obvious from the spelling. Correct pronunciation: KASH (not kash-ey)

14. Suite: It wouldn’t be your fault if you thought it was pronounced like the formal clothes we wear to meetings, but it is indeed a different word, pronounced differently. Correct pronunciation: SWEET (not sute or sute-ee)

15. Almond: Silent letters in words are always tricky. You either know it’s silent or you don’t. Let us clear this one up! Correct pronunciation: AAH-mund (not AAL-mond)

16. February: Another word that isn’t as it appears. It might take a few tries to get right but let us show you how. Correct pronunciation: FEB-ruh-ree (not FEB-yoo-a-ree)

17. Violence: This is one of the easier words on this list to get right, although some might trip over it. Correct pronunciation: VILE-ense (not vai-oh-lence)

18. Iron: Yet another tricky silent letter pronunciation. Correct pronunciation: AI-un (not AI-ron)

19. Receipt: That’s right, another silent letter, this time it’s the p. Correct pronunciation: Ruh-SEET (not ruh-SEEPT)

20. Gauge: This one stumps plenty of fluent English speakers too. Don’t worry, the correct version isn’t difficult. Correct pronunciation: GAYJ (not gauj or gaawj)

21. Heart: Some people have difficulty with this one and some people don’t? What about you? Correct pronunciation: HAA-T (not heert or hirt)

22. Monk: It’s the spelling that confuses many, but the confusion ends here! Correct pronunciation: MUNK (not mon-k)

23. Police: Most of us don’t even realize we’re mispronouncing this one, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you are.Correct pronunciation: puh-LEES (not PO-lees or PO-leez)

24. Cocoa: And finally, something that is close to all our hearts but often confounds even the biggest chocolate fan. Correct pronunciation: KO-co (not KO-ko-a)

To make your spoken English sound professional and correct, join an online English speaking class at Burlington English (https://Burlingtonenglish.in). Our expert tutors will alert you to the influence of your native language on your English pronunciation, and our patented Speech Trainer technology will tailor your pronunciation practice to address your specific needs.




Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on linkedin

Copyright © Burlington English India. Burlington English India is a part of the Burlington Group.

This Blog is the property of Burlington English India. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise – without permission in writing from the publisher.

This blog may however be shared on individual and corporate Social Media handles by giving credit to the publisher – Burlington English India.

To know more about Burlington English India, please write to [email protected]

Test Your English

Complete our short, free test to get an indication of your current level of English.

Subscribe Now